Tough Bacon



  • I smoked bacon today after curing it for five days. The taste was great. One problem is it’s tough. I tried following the directions hour by hour, but a couple times I wasn’t watching the temperature and it was off about 15 degrees too high. I tried to compensate for the next time period. I couldn’t find my thermometer, so I didn’t know what the final temperature was. Do you have any comments? that might help next time. As I said the taste is great just tough


  • Walton's Employee

    @bob-s-meatgistics Without knowing what temperature it was cooked to it is hard to tell but my first thought (and the most likely culprit) is that it was cooked well past 132° initially. Since Bacon is going to be pan-fried or cooked in the oven you don’t want to cook it much above 132° initially or it will be tough in subsequent cookings. Even the difference of 145 to 132 could give you very different results.

    Another possible issue is depending on where you purchased the belly from it might still have had the skin on it, a good way to tell is if it still has easily visible teats then the skin is still on and needs to be removed.

    You will definitely want to have a good thermometer at hand in the future, a probe thermometer like the Grilleye or the Grilleye Pro Plus will work well.



  • @bob-s-meatgistics Did you slice the bacon across the grain or with the grain? If you sliced with the grain your bacon will be very tough.



  • I really dont think the temp had anything to do with it. I do about 200lbs of bacon a year and I smoke cook mine till I get an internal temp of 155 and then shut it down and let them hang in the smoker for 30 min after and my finish temp is at about 158-160. Mine always turns out tender.

    I would say it wasn’t the best of pork that was sold.


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  • That’s a great question but a difficult one to answer! Usually, Worcestershire Sauce will have a pH of 3.6 - 4.1 while Soy Sauce has 4.4 - 5.4. Negative pH (below 7) can cause denaturing in your meat and if you have something like the 3.6 (low range of the Worcestershire Sauce) it can cause issues even when added in smaller amounts.

    If you look at the ingredients in Mandarin Teriyaki Snack Stick or Sweet Teriyaki Jerky (you can do this by scrolling down and then clicking on “Additional Info” button) you will see Soy Sauce as an ingredient, so it can absolutely be added, it just needs to be in the correct amount. This is a major reason that we recommend prepackaged seasonings, your at home recipe can be wonderful but it also has the potential to destroy your products.

    So, if you are going to experiment with Sauces with a negative pH then my advice is to start at very low concentrations and work your way up till you find a good amount that provides the taste you are looking for and does not negatively affect your finished product.

    Anyone else have any suggestions?

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  • J

    Does soy sauce denature the meat like worcestershire sauce or is it ok to use in a meat stick?

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  • P

    Try it on just smoke. That should work fine.

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  • P

    I have tried a TF 34MM processed casing I got from Quality Casings. A 32MM HF and a 30MM TF, both clear processed, I got from Mar-Co Sales. Devro Is the brand I have now. I have been hanging them. the 30MM has been the best but still tougher than I want. Ideally I want a 32MM processed casing for my brats. Does Walton’s send out samples? I do have to order some other items.

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  • T

    Re: Jerky
    Thank You

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  • C

    Thank you for your suggestions. I will try a couple of ideas your suggestions have given me.

    read more

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